As leaves turn to gemstones outside my window and the air becomes electric I associate the season's change with gratitude. It's such a simple concept to be thankful for what I get given... Air, food, water, shelter, love ... But to practice gratitude in action is a whole other thing. When I do, the payback is endless. It requires my intention, daily maintenance, dedication and even at my best I fall short of the desired outcome of undisturbed.
For me, an attitude of gratitude is a healer of all sorts of things from doldrums to chronic pain, be it in my body, mind or spirit. A spiritual guide once suggested that I write a gratitude list every day for 30 days - 5 things I am grateful for, no repeats. After the first few days, once I got all the things vital for survival down, I found myself having to really think about it. This was where the magic happened for me. It wasn't then and there as I wrote. It was later on when I noticed a light heart eager to burst into laughter, a better night's sleep, relaxed muscles in my tension lines... It was then that I made the connection: My peace and serenity on a daily level are directly proportionate to my level of gratitude. I have yet to experience a thankful heart that is full of fearing the future or regretting the past. Gratitude brings me in the day, in the moment, in the right now.
Without fail gratitude is something I feel close to when I am of service to others. Maybe not in the moment of talking a friend off an emotional cliff or helping someone with their burden - be it a heavy door or a heavy situation. It's afterward, later on, I find myself noticing the little gifts each moment has to offer... A break in the clouds allowing sweet sunshine on my cheeks. It stops me in my tracks and I whisper 'thank you, thank you, thank you'.